a wooden workmate

April 20, 2008

Images from Glob 2007

Filed under: Uncategorized — Daniel Baker @ 8:15 pm

April 10, 2008

Following Meeting – A Link Dump!

Filed under: Uncategorized — dinomo @ 11:56 pm

Here is Dick’s pen blog:

Here is box2d flash:

Here is the blog of the Crayon Physics dude:

Another drawing-physics thing in Flash:

Here’s the umbrella-hands-boats game:

Here’s another physics game called the Gymnast which will definitely be of interest:

And another physics game by the same guy called Jello Car:

The First Meeting: Scans

Filed under: Uncategorized — dinomo @ 6:07 pm

April 7, 2008

ideas

Filed under: Uncategorized — Daniel Baker @ 6:07 pm

Hey Ricky,

Your ideas so far are great. I particularly like the moving into details- the simbysial case (which the little theatre narrative was based upon) had a section where the Patient shrinks and climbs over objects and details around his room. The journey theme is definately what i was thinking of too- i like the idea of dimensions, and contexts changing, through details- dissapearing down holes, climbing over things etc.

April 4, 2008

Kicking things off

Filed under: Uncategorized — dinomo @ 2:14 pm

Daniel,

Based on the work on your website, here are some things which seem potentially valuable areas to explore:

  • a journey being undertaken (an obvious and natural basis for a game!)
  • changing the scale of things. Perhaps zooming into small things on the screen and seeing a whole new environment full of activity come into view. Did you ever play the game Samarost? If not, definitely do!
  • maps or diagrams as objects of beauty.
  • things which aren’t exactly abstract or explicit, but somewhere inbetween.
  • the written word and the drawing existing within the same space. I particularly like the idea of words providing some form of ‘structure’ but which move around. One idea that came to mind was having a character moving across a ‘road’ made from words which form a narrative. And they come to a hole, which they will fall into unless another word is moved into that space to form a bridge. But only several words will fit and the player must choose how to change the context of the upcoming or surrounding sentences, and the character then ‘evolves’ as a result of the choices.
  • a homespun aesthetic. Perhaps not entirely drawings – I like the idea of scanning in mixed media, where perhaps the material itself infers meaning. (e.g. casting pencils, pencil-shavings, pencil sharpeners, pencil lead, lines and erasers as game characters / objects). Animated photos of parcel paper, parchment, string or sawdust (ggakennumwkqthpiae dgqjkamnd) could work really well. But yeah – it should definitely be 2D (for many reasons) and I don’t see there being huge amounts of animation work required to achieve something that works well.

Have you read or heard of a book called ‘The Age of Wire and String’ by Ben Marcus? If not, I’ll bring it along. I’m not sure why exactly, but I think you’d like it.

There are a couple of issues from a practical design perspective that are worth considering:

  • ideally, how long would the experience to last?
  • should the experience to change or evolve over that time, or be a continuous rolling thing? Would we need a ‘start over’ button for each new player?
  • if it’s a single person experience which changes over time do we need to be concerned with people watching other people before they play? Could they see something which would spoil the experience? We’d either want to design around this physically (by putting a single person booth around the computer which only allows one person in at a time) or within the software.
  • do we require people to work stuff out in order to progress? This could be enormously satisfying for them, but introduces the possibility of their getting stuck and never seeing an end. Alternative it could continue regardless of their abilities, but have different outcomes depending on their input.
  • will sound play a part? I was playing my ukelele the other day just after looking at your site, and the sound of that instrument seemed to fit somehow.

You were asking about the processes involved with building a game from first ideas, and how decisions are madeĀ aboutĀ mechanisms. I guess the most important thing is the prototyping process – you start with an idea for a mechanic and you don’t know if it’s going to work, so you make a prototype as fast as possible to see if it will work. There’s always a temptation to gild lilies as you go, which should largely be resisted, because it’s so much quicker to come up with new ideas than it is to implement ones you’ve already have, and every moment you spend writing code is time not evaluating your current idea and what might follow from it.

The tighter you can make the loop of:

think of something -> make it -> evaluate it -> make something else..

the more chance there is of coming up with something special.

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